Yeung Kwong

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Yeung Kwong
Traditional Chinese 楊光
Simplified Chinese 杨光

Yeung Kwong, GBM is a Hong Kong pro-Communist activist. He was awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal in 2001.[1] He was involved in the 1967 leftist riots [2] in which the leftists and the British colonial administration clashed violently.

Biography[edit]

According to Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, Yeung joined the labour movement around 1948.

Inspired by the mainland China's Cultural Revolution and the concession Portuguese Macau government made, he was a leader of the 1967 leftist riots in Hong Kong. When the leftists formed the Hong Kong and Kowloon Committee for Anti-Hong Kong British Persecution Struggle in 1967, Yeung was appointed the chairman of committee.

Murder Accusations[edit]

It is widely believed by many that Yeung was deeply involved in the murder of Commercial Radio Hong Kong radio host Lam Bun during the leftist riots. On 24 August 1967, Lam Bun and his brother were driving from Lam's residence in Ho Man Tin when leftist rioters, dressed as road construction workers, stopped Lam's car. The car was set on fire.[1] Both Lam and his brother later died in a local hospital.

It was believed that Lam's popular radio show was a reason why the leftists decided to murder him. At the time, Lam's show, Failure to Strike (Chinese: 欲罷不能), poked fun at the leftist's action to strike and cause general unrest in Hong Kong.

After the murder occurred, an anonymous person, claiming to be from a leftist organisation, took responsibility for Lam Bun's murder. The person also called Lam a "Degenerate of the Chinese Race", "a lackey of the British Colonial Government", and that his murder is a "disciplinary action to cleanse the race". The person also vowed to kill other "degenerates" in the future. This statement galvanised public opinion against the leftists, and caused a widespread crackdown on leftist activities.

No person was ever arrested in connection to this case, and the case is still open as of 2007.

Yeung is not without supporters. The leftist establishments often credit Yeung for helping to foster great strides in liberties after the riot. However, critics often argue that the improvement of worker's conditions only happened in the 1970s, years after Yeung's tenure as FTU's chairman concluded.

The Grand Bauhinia Medal controversy[edit]

Award[edit]

In 2001, then Chief Executive Tung Chee-Hwa awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal, the highest honour in Hong Kong, to pro-Communist party activist Yeung for his "involvement in improving worker's rights". Yeung was nominated by the FTU for that honour.

The award ceremony was held on October 13, 2001, and controversy immediately rose after the announcement, with many people believing that Tung, who was seeking reelection at the time, was pandering to the FTU, which is an important bloc of vote in the unique Chief Executive election system in Hong Kong.[2] Some critics also asserted that Yeung is not suitable for the highest honour of the land. He remains to be a hugely controversial figure with his critics accusing him of ties to Lam Bun's death. Critics argued the event was a symbolic gesture for the approval of the 1967 riot.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Carroll, John M. [2007] (2007). A Concise History of Hong Kong. Rowman & Littlefield publishing. ISBN 0-7425-3422-7
  2. ^ a b c Chan, Ming K. So, Alvin Y. White III, Lynn T. [2002] (2002). Crisis and Transformation in China's Hong Kong. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 0-7656-1000-0.
Political offices
Preceded by
Lee Sang
Chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions
1962–1980
Succeeded by
Poon Kwong-wai
Preceded by
Chan Yaocai
President of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions
1980–1986
Succeeded by
Lee Chak-tim
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Li Ka-shing
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal
Hong Kong order of precedence
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal
Succeeded by
Elsie Leung
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal